Walmart B Good

 This past week the action by the Michigan ACLU regarding the Paw Paw school mascot merchandise and their request to Walmart to not sell the merchandise with the R****s team mascot of the local high school Now it is time to send some support and here is my outline for doing this, quickly, easily and legitimately. Silence endorses and approves and Walmart is likely to take silence from all communities as approval of their current approach in selling all team merchandise, including that of the pro teams.

1. Take Action. Talk about this AND let Walmart know you want them to B Good
2. Contact Company directly, phone, written letter or email, details in order below, then share with everyone and ask them to do the same. Here is contact information and suggested message. Feel free to edit for yourself and make your own on your messages but being polite and direct has been the most effective approach for me:
a. Phone call, and please remember there is no guarantee the call will be counted or accurately noted but if enough calls come in the company should take note. Be polite and direct, say you support the removal of Native American mascots on team merchandise.
1-800-WALMART or 1-800-479-273-6463
b. Sample letter and mailing address corporate headquarters, and Mr. Mike Drake, CEO and President:
(Today’s date)
Dear Mr. Drake,
I ask you and Walmart to take action today to honor the ethics statement on the Walmart website, from founder Sam Walton: Personal and moral integrity is one of our basic fundamentals and it has to start with each one of us. I want Walmart and you to stop selling, teaching and promoting racism through race-based stereotypes in your merchandise, especially in sports team identities depicting stereotypes of Native Americans no matter who the teams are or where they play, from local high schools to the professional teams, of any and all sports. I support the Michigan ACLU call to remove offensive merchandise and educate the community through real world action. I am a Walmart customer and I find this merchandise inappropriate, offensive and morally wrong. 
Respectfully submitted,
(sign your name here)

Mailing address for envelope:
Mr. Mike Drake, CEO and President
Walmart headquarters
702 S.W. 8th Street
Bentonville, AK 72716

c. Email Walmart using link below for their website and follow these guidelines for submission:
1. Select a topic and I suggest either Company Feedback or Product Question, scroll to “next” button near bottom of page
2. Comment: It is Time for Walmart to stop promoting racism by selling any merchandise with race-based stereotypes even if it is a local school or professional sports’ team. I support the ACLU action in Paw Paw, Michigan
3. Add your contact information and click next
4. Choose whatever store you generally shop in and then click submit near the bottom of the page

Here is the page to Walmart Corporate Offices

 Retire The Chief Cleveland

Retire The Chief Cleveland

 Yakoo is Quincy’s problem. The tribal people said so and it is the truth. Retire Yakoo Now.

Yakoo is Quincy’s problem. The tribal people said so and it is the truth. Retire Yakoo Now.

 No more racist R****s logos or mascots anywhere.

No more racist R****s logos or mascots anywhere.

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Stereotypes teach racism. Stereotypes are always wrong. Stop teaching racism AND stereotypes.

Quincy-Why Do You Still Support This Racist Mascot?

School is starting. ask what teams your local schools play and find out if they have Native American team identities. Those identities and images teach racism to everyone who sees them no matter the intention in the name or team mascot. Do not stay silent--communities can and do change, find the courage to speak up and do the right thing. Let's make 2018-19 the year of real, identifiable and good change. This is not OK and it is the team mascot at North Quincy High School today. :

Retire Yakoo NOW

Make 2018-2019 The Year For Good, For A (Real) Change

September is almost here. School is starting. It is time to begin to learn about sports teams’ Native American identities and mascots, the harm stereotypes do and how they factor into teaching racism. This site has been quiet for months as the country and the world and all of us living and working and going to school have had to deal with the chaos and nonsense largely coming out of Washington D.C. and the White House on a daily and sometimes hour by hour basis.

 

Now it is time to bring good and positive change to local communities, where we all live.  If your team, school or professional, does not have a Native American team identity or mascot, good—yet I can almost guarantee they play a team that does. Certainly it is true that all the professional leagues have Native American team identities. Start with this link and learn and make the decision to do one thing at least every week to learn more, open a conversation, be a positive influence in your world.

Say NO To RACISM in SPORTS. At All levels, in all ways. 

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Race Based Stereotypes In Sports Must Change

What is wrong with stereotypes, including those we have come to see as “cute” or even those we, at least some of us, love?

1.      No stereotype is true since no group of people share the same traits or abilities or even physical characteristics.

2.      Stereotypes, no matter what they are based on create the us/them divide.

3.      Stereotypes trap people into false and rigid thinking, on both sides of the stereotype.

4.      Those who create and support stereotypes see themselves as some way better than or superior to those they stereotype. Can you name one stereotype that completely puts the group stereotyped in a fully superior position to the creator of the stereotype?

5.      The divides stereotypes create lead to conflicts between the group doing the stereotyping and the group stereotyped. This also applies to those considered similar to the group stereotyped.

6.      Conflict can lead to isolation, bullying and far too often violence, from minor to extreme.

7.      When one social group endorses a stereotype peer and social pressure can force even those who object to the stereotype into silence.

8.      Stereotypes never honor any group or individual, they do perpetuate false beliefs. The underlying dishonesty is something people are deeply aware of even if they do not fully understand it.

9.      Stereotypes have caused some of the worst violence in human history. We must learn from the past and remove stereotypes and address the thinking that enforces and supports them.

10.   Can you name groups which can be stereotyped?

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Quincy, The Boston Globe Is Paying Attention

Broad media attention in the Boston Globe is a good thing for everyone who wants the best for all Quincy students. The article details the reading of the letter by the Citywide PTO co-chair after a thank you to all involved by the other co-chair to the Quincy School Committee and following comments. Awareness of local schools teaching racism through racist mascots, pronounced racist mascots, as is the case in Quincy MA at North Quincy High School gives hope that with awareness and exposure change is possible. The schools do not exist on some isolated island. Given the history of Quincy, the presence today of the Adams crypt and homes of the family from the days of the American Revolution on the National Historic Register with frequent tourists, scholars and visitors from across the world having two high schools sports teams essentially still fighting original centuries old conflicts using teams named the Red Raiders and the Presidents would be ludicrous if it were not sadly true. Happily there are parents willing to address the situation. My one question is relative to the Order approved by Quincy City Council for the Scholarship for the students funded by Dr. Yacubian, the face of Yakoo: why was Dr. Yacubian's intent not clearly defined in the Order? 

 It is time to close this chapter at North Quincy High School.

It is time to close this chapter at North Quincy High School.

Boston: Confront Racism & Change? Really?

Boston can be a leader, we living in and around Boston can be leaders in fighting racism if we can find the will to do it. I see the need to start where we are doing things wrong and together maybe find a new path forward. The series has pointed out many important things but as best as I can tell it missed one--where we teach racism and silently accept it, and profit from it. Accepting in our sports venues teams with race based identities and stereotypical and often trivializing mascots is an almost invisible issue. The are the longstanding teams in the pros with Native American mascots and team names and we have those in our schools and throughout the leagues entrenched and often largely alumni embraced Native American team identities.

 

In honesty it took me, as a white woman, living and raising a family in the Cleveland area years to understand the issue. I had listed to baseball with a beloved uncle on summer porches and hearing the stories of the "good old days." The idea of racism being taught through team identity would have never crossed his thinking and I'm not sure he would have understood it or seen it as something ridiculous and liberal. But he was a good man and if he could have come to truly understand the issue I am guessing, since he has long passed on, that he would have taken the side of good. even back then he rejected racism as best as he understood it.

 

In Cleveland the team playing at the ironically named Progressive Field was always in the news with the protests on opening day and when the playoffs arrived. Yet despite the efforts of local Native Americans and their allies and friends nothing has changed really. But that was then and this is now and I live on the South Shore.

 

With almost 40 schools in Massachusetts promoting Native American team identities it is easy to see why the professional teams are quietly accepted. Our students, from the youngest ages, are taught this standard of behavior and race identification is acceptable. But when we teach our children to look at any group of people through the lens of stereotype and caricature we then should not wonder when they bully others on stereotype issues, when our adults fight along us/them lines and when our city has to mount a major security effort so white supremacists can safely exercise their free speech rights in the Common.

 

Because something is legal does not make it right. Legal is the standard our elected representatives and the courts have managed to establish as basic rules for our city and society to function. Integrity and moral actions are different. Boston has a unique place in American history., Today we have children and students from all over the world living and studying in our communities and schools. I would like to see this topic enter mainstream discussion. Right now in Quincy there is a struggle over the Red Raiders and its mascot Yakoo. Scholarship dollars may well be at stake if any student chooses to speak out against the mascot. This is not good and not right in 2017. I believe most people in Boston have good intentions but unless and until this topic has some large scale discussion and real change is happening in our communities and neighborhoods around it we are, in fact, still silently accepting and teaching racism. Before anyone slams back at me please, just learn and bit and think about this. If we refuse to learn and refuse to consider change we cement in the status quo and overall I do not see that as being a good thing,m for Boston, for Massachusetts or for our country.

 

Sports can bring everyone to the conversational table, be it electronic or local, church basement, locker room, playing field, or diner or boardroom. Let's get this conversation started!

A Scholarship to Teach Racism or Silence Opposition to Racism?

Is This A Scholarship For Teaching Racism in Quincy Sports Dr. Yakubian? Mayor Koch, Do you Understand the Power of Racist Images? 

In this holiday season of celebration of family, sharing of time with loved ones and coming together to build new memories upon longstanding traditions it is sad to share troubling news...but sometimes it can be hoped that things can be changed, in the spirit of the season.

The issue of racism being taught through sports teams' identities--names and mascots--is a main topic here, especially when schools are involved. Quincy, MA, the home of two high schools has been a frequent focus. Please scroll through for images and some history of the situation. A new development deserves attention, beyond the Citywide PTO letter to the Quincy School Committee of last week, asking for change and a community wide discussion.

A scholarship grant of $400,000 has been given to the City of Quincy and accepted by the City Council with funding from Dr. Yakubian, the face caricatured in Yakoo at North Quincy High School. While the document concerning the scholarship funded by Dr. Alan Yakubianm a retired Quincy dentist is not yet online I was able to obtain, via email from Quincy City offices a copy of Order 2017-190, accepting the scholarship, submitted to City Council by Mayor Koch, passed 12-4-2017 and approved by the City Clerk 12-5-2017. The full document is below.

Item 3. states that as part of the selection process for scholarship recipients there shall be "input" from Dr. Yakubian, the fund donor. The fund is to be named in perpetuity the Yakubian Family Scholarship Fund and the City agrees to "carry out the intent of donor of the fund, Dr. Yakubian "forevermore."

I honestly do not know why the Quincy City Council accepted these funds under such terms when the lawyers on the Council could certainly have inserted a clause clearly stating that either the fund application process shall be anonymous or that any actions by any potential recipients of scholarship awards shall not include any evaluation as to their work, for or against or around the sports teams' identities or mascots or some similar shielding provision.

The teaching racism to students and communities through stereotypes and caricatures impacts everyone. If an educational effort is needed as to why images are racist and how they can teach racism as acceptable then the schools should be leading the discussions, not perpetuating harm. If Dr. Yakubian is interested in the well-being of the students and Quincy as a whole then he can show leadership by advocating to retire the mascot while continuing the scholarship. Should he choose not to do so then perhaps the City Council can act with integrity and moral decency and refuse the funds. All politicians should well understand the potential harm of racism and the danger of accepting monies carrying hidden and not so hidden agendas.

Here is the actual City Council Order 2017-190:

MAYOR THOMAS P. KOCH
CITY OF QUINCY
IN COUNCIL
ORDER No. 2017-190
ORDERED: December 04, 2017
BE IT ORDAINED that the city of Quincy accept the bequest of Dr. Allan H. Yacubian In the sum of S4()0,000.0() to vest upon the following terms and conditions:
1. Upon receipt of the funds, the City of Quincy shall establish a fund to be known as ' '1Ole Yacubian Family Scholarship Fund." The funds shall be deposited on account of The Fund, and shall be invested m a manner so that the annual accrued interest may be used to award 5 scholarships annually to graduates of North Quincy High School and 5 scholarships to graduates of Quincy High School — each graduate to receive the same amount.
2. Selection of the scholarship recipients shall be made by the scholarship committee at each High School, with input from the fund donor, Dr. Yacubian.
3. Scholarship Recipients need not attend college, but students not furthering their formal education at a post-secondary institution must otherwise use the funds to pursue a career that requires tratning. Recipients must be legal citizens of the United States of Amenca.
4. Any organization or individual may add to the principal of the fund, and each is invited to do so. The fund should be called the Yacubian Family Scholarship Fund in perpetuity.
ORDER NO. 2017 190 Page 2 of 2
BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED that the City Treasurer be and is hereby authorized to assume the duties of Trustee to oversee the Investments of said fund. In consideration of said gift the City Pledges to forever more carry out the intent of the donor, Dr. Allan H. Yacubian.
PASSED TO BE ORDAINED:
ATTEST:
APPROVED: December 5, 2017

MAYOR
YEAS Palmucci
NAYS Cain, Croall, DiBona, Finn, Harris, Hughes, Laforest, Liangæ-lmuc-cä

Yes, in the copy I received the same names are listed in Yeas and Nays,something I hope will be corrected when made available online.

Finally, it is essentially unclear what the intent of Dr. Yakubian is with the scholarship. Therefore administering these funds in the 'intent" of Dr Yakubian is not possible, something I believe the Quincy legal department should have clarified long before the Mayor submitted the proposal. This looks flawed from its inception and it is sincerely hoped that the City of Quincy, the officials and school administrators will carefully address the entire situation. No imagined debt is ever owed to the giver of a gift, otherwise it is not a gift and other less savory names attach to the monies involved. Certainly such a "gift" in Quincy, given the complex issues involved should not be justification for ignoring the racism of the overall mascot or artificially isolating the discussion to the local community given the interactions of the teams with and in the leagues they are involved with as they play other schools. The school team identity carries impacts far beyond the school's walls and reaches into the lives of all students attending the school.

What were they, the officials and the donor thinking? How intentionally blind, or even quietly racist are those involved? Dr. Yakubian is supposedly Armenian. Armenia is a country with a complicated history and there is history of genocide in the recent past and deadly conflict arising even more recently largely based on group identity. Surely Dr. Yakubian understands this. Why does he support a team with a race based name and mascot?

Are the politicians blinded by a few loud voices, are they living in an echo chamber whose walls were built decades ago or do they simply prefer their familiar images and symbols and deliberately refuse to understand the harmful impacts they are inflicting on communities and children today? Should the scholarship remain unchanged, should the mascot remain in place future generations and even children in the schools today will question the judgment underlying a possible cult of personality and the willful blindness to the harm being caused.

In this season of coming together across boundaries this entire situation can still be resolved, community understanding can be built but it will take the will to do the right thing and the determination to stand for the actions of integrity and good for all students. Do the leaders in Quincy, from the teachers in the classrooms to all those in administration, to the student guidance and counseling departments, to the religious and spiritual community leaders, to the general public, to and an all outside organizations involved with the schools and of course the political, academic and sports leadership in the region--do they have the courage to bring about a good outcome here, one all students can enjoy or will they retreat into being busy, distracted or hide behind claims of the issue being beyond their area of involvement or expertise and remain silent and essentially lazily entrenched in the status quo? The choice is theirs. And ours. Silence condones. Do not be silent.

 This is a racist image. It trivializes, harms and insults everyone, Racism harms us all

This is a racist image. It trivializes, harms and insults everyone, Racism harms us all

Is Racism For Sale?

This evening there is a meeting of the Quincy School Committee at the Quincy, MA Central Middle School at 6:00 pm. The topic includes a request by the citywide Parent Teacher Organization to open a discussion around the issue of Yakoo, the very racist mascot of North Quincy High School. There are reports of a $400,000 gift to the school by the man who has the face caricatured in Yakoo. Note that there is a trademark on Yakoo which means there is potential for private income. 

 No Pride. No Excellence.  Just teaching racism

No Pride. No Excellence.

Just teaching racism

 

Quincy MA is an interesting city. There are two presidents and their wives buried in a crypt owned by the family: President John Adams, a framer of both the Massachusetts and American Constitutions,  and his wife Abigail and President John Quincy Adams and his wife Louisa.  The Crypt is under United First Parish Church, a Unitarian Universalist parish.  John Quincy Adams was John Adams' son. Their homes in Quincy, MA are on the National Historic Register and, like the Church they are popular tourist sites. The City of Quincy owns the bells and the clock in the Church tower. 

Today Quincy has two high schools: North Quincy High School and Quincy High School. Quincy HS has sports teams identified as "Presidents" and their image is a top hat with white and blue vertical stripes. The team name at North QHS (aka North) is the "Red Raiders" and the mascot is Yakoo. The facial image, trademarked, is a caricature of Dr. Alan Yakubian a former player on the NQHS football team and now a retired dentist. While the school mascot supporters often claim the image is not that of an "Indian" the clothes, tomahawk(supposedly a stone hammer but who is splitting hairs here?), the feather in the hair, the moccasins combine with the team name to clearly demonstrate an indigenous person. Dr. Yakubian is supposedly Armenian so perhaps the team name and attire of the mascot should change to reflect this? Recent reports claim Dr. Yakubian has created a Scholarship fund for NQHS students with $400,00 as seed funding. 

It is truly time to stop teaching racism in the schools throughout Massachusetts. Better yet, move past the Quincy modern day enactment of the Revolutiony and pre-Revolutionary War conflicts between the indigenous people and the Europeans, or even among the Europeans themselves since sometimes "raiders" had permission, in the forms of letters of marque, to act as licensed agents of the crown--or legal pirates/raiders to confiscate goods from any and all opponents of any particular royal king or queen in Europe. The history of this can be taught to all students and players moving forward in Quincy but the racism taught through of "Red Raiders" and "Yakoo" must stop.

Interestingly in the genealogy of the Adams Family the first Adams ancestor to arrive from Europe was reportedly Henry Adams. Hi son, Lt. Henry Adams was killed in an "Indian Raid" during Metacomet's War (aka Kind Philip's war) and in the town, Quincy, MA where the family is still honored the high schools perpetuate this violence. Once a bit of history is learned in the schools and throughout the community the absurdity of these team identities may be recognized. No matter the local feeling the team plays other schools throughout the region. There is a bill in front of the Massachusetts Congress to render Native American team mascots illegal. Quincy should not wait on statewide action when it is in such a prominent position to lead and do the good and right thing.

America has been founded on the principle of change for the better.  Life is always changing. This is not about being politically correct, although evidently the mayor thinks it is(see main link) nor is it about forgetting or insulting alumni and/or Dr. Yakubian who have supported the team and school in the past. It is about finding the courage to change, build a new and respectful path forward and not let loud, unthinking bullies control the decision making process in our of our founding American cities. 

Massachusetts is over 80% "white" and we all live on what were once tribal lands, where many wars were fought over many centuries. Some land claims remain disputed to this day. This is not an indigenous issue, racism harms everyone. WE must not expect only indigenous people to address this since it is mostly non-indigenous people, people who are not members of either a stereotyped or caricatured group, who promote racist stereotypes and caricatures. This is an issue about the type of people each and every one of us are, want to be or can find our way to be. 

Politicians make their decisions based on their own consciences and the positions of their voters and supporters. This issue is large than Quincy, MA as given the location of the city it goes to the foundations of America. The problems with racism in America are real, often brutally violent and the ties to sport highly showcased across many sports in the current "take a knee" efforts. 

No one has all the answers, no one has perfect answers yet this much is clear: we can and must stop doing things we know cause problems, things we can identify as wrong. IN the 21st century we can come together, do good and be better, and Quincy can start. Will we, will it? 

 Silence condones. Say NO to racism. 

Silence condones. Say NO to racism. 

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 Speak up. Write, call or post something for good change. Share here what you do! 

Speak up. Write, call or post something for good change. Share here what you do! 

 be the Change For Good Today

be the Change For Good Today

 What will you do today to challenge racist sports team identities and mascots in schools? 

What will you do today to challenge racist sports team identities and mascots in schools? 

Challenging Lies With Decency and Courage

Recently the President of America put politics, his personal ignorance and lack of any sense of decorum on full display during the official honoring ceremony for the living and deceased Navajo Code Talkers from World War ll. The American President's words do not bear repetition here but the words of the President of the Navajo Code Talkers, Mr. Peter MacDonald  on the Navajo Code Talkers, Navajo history, thought and culture certainly do. He was present at the White House Ceremony. To trivialize and stereotype these brave men and their culture through caricatures for any sport's team identity is morally wrong and utterly disrespectful. 

The current reply of the Navajo Nation the the American President is also important. 

 Click above for Navajo Nation's Official Response. 

Click above for Navajo Nation's Official Response.